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U.S. Delays Plan to Bring in Asylum Seekers Waiting in Mexico

The U.S. canceled plans Monday to bring asylum seekers into two ports of entry in Texas, even as it slowly brings them into California.

Deanna Garcia

Feb 24, 2021

U.S.–Mexico border.

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

The U.S. canceled plans Monday to bring asylum seekers into two ports of entry in Texas, ruining the hopes of hundreds who have been waiting in Mexico for months. Starting last week, border officials have slowly started bringing asylum seekers across the San Ysidro, California, port of entry as the Biden administration ends the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols. But in a recent statement, the Department of Homeland Security said that “given current operational considerations,” it could no longer say when migrants would be allowed through Brownsville and El Paso, Texas. A DHS spokeswoman did not specify the cause of delay, but said the agency will start using those locations when international partners ensure security and health standards and adequate processing systems. Reuters 

In other national immigration news…

U.S. Shelters Holding Migrant Children Are Close to Full

U.S. border agents apprehended more than 1,500 migrant children last week, according to government statistics. An additional 300 children were taken into custody on Sunday. This surge has left 7,100 Office of Refugee Resettlement beds for minors occupied, while less than 900 remain empty. The increase is worrisome for government officials, shelter operators and advocates who need to cut down on how long children are kept in Customs and Border Protection facilities. CBP is required to transfer most unaccompanied children to the refugee office within three days of taking them into custody. But data obtained by CBS News shows about 179 migrant children spent more than three days in CBP facilities in January. CBS News 

Libre by Nexus Sued for Alleged Immigration Bond Scam

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy, along with New York and Virginia’s attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sued Libre by Nexus and the firm’s owners, Michael Donovan, Richard Moore and Evan Ajin, in a Virginia federal court. Libre by Nexus, which calls itself a “bail bond services” firm, provides bond for detainees through a third party. Once they are released, the immigrant has to pay hundreds of dollars per month to cover the bond and pay an additional $420 a month for an ankle monitor the company uses to track the person. The plaintiffs accused the company of preying on immigrants and misrepresenting where their payments go. CommonWealth Magazine 

ICE Sued for Using Private Guards to Make Arrests

The Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and the ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed a federal class action lawsuit against ICE to get the agency to stop using private companies to detain people. The complaint said ICE used private companies, including G4S Secure Solutions, Inc., to detain individuals after their release from jails and prisons in California, and the companies then transfer them to ICE. The same organizations filed claims in December against Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials in support of four people, including a U.S. citizen, who were transferred to ICE by private guards. The Fresno Bee 

18 Men Killed Near U.S. Border after Deportation

Edgar López, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, was leaving his overnight shift at a chicken plant in Mississippi when dozens of officers swarmed the parking lot. He was handcuffed, put onto a bus and driven to a National Guard airplane along with hundreds of other undocumented people at his and six other plants. López soon tried to return to his family in Mississippi. But and a year and a half later, he and 18 others were shot, dumped on the back of a pick-up truck, and set on fire just 14 miles from the U.S. border. Twelve Mexican police officers — three trained through a U.S. State Department program — were charged for massacre. VICE



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